As we begin a new year, it’s important to look forward to the possibilities it brings. Too many of us waste time looking back and lamenting over what we’ve done, or feeling discouraged about opportunities we let pass us by. When God looks at us, He doesn’t see our past mistakes and failures; He just sees Jesus. The Son of God has never made a mistake and has never failed. For us to think God sees those attributes in us is to deny the fact that we are one with Christ and that His spirit dwells within us. We are covered by the blood and sacrifice of Jesus.
We can bring every mistake, every failure, every opportunity missed, and lay them at the feet of Jesus. They are immediately cleansed by His blood and redeemed by His righteousness. That means He can use what we considered to be wasted by turning them into something useful. Our past is what God uses to grow us and build our character. We are refined by our perceived failures and polished into something beautiful.
The biggest mistake we could make would be to wallow in our sorrow and feelings of uselessness. In fact, it is in our weakness that God can best be glorified. All through the Bible we see stories of God using the lowliest and the most marginalized to magnify His glory. If we never messed up I think it would be very difficult for God to use us. We would become overly self-confident and prideful. God doesn’t want those who exalt themselves. He doesn’t want the self-sufficient; He wants the broken and those who are wholly dependent on Him.
In your discouragement, be encouraged. You are in a position to be used by God. When we are weak, He is strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). In a recent message I heard Pastor Steven Furtick say, “God doesn’t do background checks. He doesn’t check references”. He just wants you! He has chosen you in your uniqueness to help accomplish His plans. That means He wants you in all your dirtiness, all your mistakes, and all your weakness. There is no handicap, no fear, and no failure that God cannot overcome and use for His glory.
We are the called and we are the chosen. Jesus doesn’t look over the earth seeking to call those in influential places or those who lead lives of strength. He calls ordinary, messed up people like you and like me. Our discouragement produces perseverance, our failures produce character, and our weakness produces strength through our reliance on Him. The year before us is filled with opportunities to impact our world for Jesus. The past is over. Each moment begins our life anew. Leave your baggage at the feet of Jesus, take His hand, and let Him use you to reach our world for His glory. Your weakness is perfected in His strength. You are loved and of great worth. Let this be our best year ever, one in which we are totally devoted to Jesus and serving our world in His name and for His glory.